Paperless Technology Fuels Growth With Pride

As the mergers and acquisitions boom continues across the waste industry, companies are growing at a significant pace. Perhaps never before has it been as important as it is today for organizations to take advantage of technology that can help them scale services while reducing bumps in the road.

Likewise, haulers both public and private better understand the ways their operations impact the environment. Modern technologies, from CNG and electric vehicles to in-cab computers, provide opportunities to make operations more efficient and effective. They also provide environmental and cost-saving benefits, as well.

Growing With Pride

Kristin Leichner, president of Pride Disposal and Recycling, used to work summers in the company that’s been in her family since 1986. Here’s what route distribution looked like then: It took at least 45 minutes to print daily route sheets that would then be distributed to each driver. At the end of the day, the sheets were collected and stored in case someone needed to refer back to them. One of Leichner’s first jobs, at age 10 or 11, was to run old paper route sheets through the shredder.

Remembering the huge pile of paper the company went through in those days is a reminder of one reason Pride decided to go paperless 20 years ago. With modern technology throughout the operation, Pride has been able to take advantage of growth opportunities while maintaining efficiencies, attracting and retaining the best employees, and continuing to provide innovative customer service.

Growth without the pain

Pride Disposal and Recycling has doubled in size over the last 20 years and now serves Beaverton, Durham, Hillsboro, King City, Sherwood, Tigard, and Washington County in northwest Oregon with 45 trucks. They’ve grown as their communities have expanded and through the acquisition of other family-owned companies. Pride now offers a full range of services to residents and businesses including garbage, organics, recycling, shredding, drop boxes and containers, and bulk item pickup. They also operate a waste transfer station.

As digital solutions started to become available for the waste industry, Pride management wanted to be an early adopter. By proactively onboarding smart truck technology in 2001, they avoided the growing pains many private haulers experience when expansion plans collide with resource constraints. Now every vehicle in their fleet is equipped with a Routeware system that provides electronic routes for drivers, GPS tracking, and seamless communication with the home office. This gives Pride the kind of efficiency that allows them to expand without putting strain on their team.

Leichner puts it simply: “We would need more drivers and office staff if we didn’t use Routeware.”

With a seamless connection between drivers and office staff, every aspect of routing, dispatch, and customer service can be designed to maximize efficiency. That means Pride can stay nimble and say “yes” to more new business opportunities.

Technology the team loves to use

Some worry that technology will ultimately displace hard working people. Not in the waste industry. In fact, at Pride the opposite is true. Employees are excited to have tools that make their jobs easier and safer so they can be more engaged in doing what it takes to serve the community.

Even in a tough labor market, Pride has been able to retain their best employees and attract new team members who want to work at a forward-focused company. “New drivers think it’s cool that we’re way more technologically advanced than they expected,” said Leichner. “Prospects see our use of onboard computers as a sign of innovation in other areas.”

Every truck in the Pride fleet has onboard cameras and GPS that help drivers track their routes and stay safe. Digital information is immediately available if customer service needs to follow up with any concern. Supervisors use fleet management technology to verify what each truck is doing out in the neighborhood. GPS data and camera images help them provide specific coaching so drivers can be their best.

Customers take pride in their waste hauler

Technology designed to make waste hauling more efficient is often relegated to a supporting role behind the scenes. But Pride Disposal and Recycling puts their technology front and center as a sign of their commitment to service and innovation. Customers want to know how the companies they do business with are caring for the environment and the community.

Pride proudly highlights their sustainability initiatives on their website. As an early adopter of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, they’re able to tout lower greenhouse gas and particulate emissions. CNG also powers a significantly quieter fleet – something residents can certainly appreciate. Pride’s vehicles may be quieter, but they’re not keeping quiet about the difference technology is making in other parts of their business, including paperless operations and a safer, more efficient fleet. Customers can see how Pride takes sustainability seriously.

With Routeware onboard, Pride Disposal and Recycling is growing to meet the needs of their communities while meeting the expectations of a modern workforce.

Learn more. Routeware provides integrated solutions — from in-cab computers to back-office billing and customer-facing tools for digital education — to help growing haulers. If you’re thinking about scaling your business today or tomorrow, let’s talk!

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